24.10.07

Showcasing pimentón

Recently San San from Singapore and I have started something of an impromtu spice-route. She sent me sachets of bak kut teh and instructions for making a lovely soup of long-simmered por ribs. I sent a tin of pimentón, semi-sweet, from La Vera, but, no instructions. This is remiss of me, but the thing is, I don´t use pimentón all that much. A bit of it goes into my espinacas con garbanzos, sometimes. Cocarois have a dose, too, and a dusting on hummus is lovely. But you won´t see me scattering it happy go luckily around, on migas, poached eggs, soups or salmorejos. And never, ever, in marinades. The classic Spanish adobo of oil, garlic and pimentón, delicious as it is, tends to make all meats into a sort of ersatz chorizo, I think. For fish, with some lemon thrown in, maybe. In fact, yes please, but only south of Despeñaperros.

That said, I do like its smoky depth, and the Altamira rust colour it makes on boiled potatoes that have been drizzled with oil. This mixture is usually seen on plates of pulpo a la gallega.
But pulpo is bar food, really, to be eaten with toothpicks you throw on the floor, with lots of beers and preferrably some salty sea breeze disarranging perfect coiffures (although there are plenty of Galician bars in Madrid, too).

So what I do at home is arrange the potatoes, cut in chunks (cachelos) and then boiled. Then some short, cut hand slices of boiled ham or lacón. Then the drizzle of good oil, and at last a sprinkling of pimentón. It lifts the whole from the bland to the mildly exciting. And it´s quick, easy, homely and, for all its robustness, actually quite light.

13 comentarios:

kickpleat dijo...

i laughed at "mildly exciting". whoop!

Casey dijo...

oh, dear: I love it on poached eggs. Is this horribly gauche?

san dijo...

Hi Ximena, thank you again! I love the pimenton, right down to the retro tin, and I am furiously browsing through my copy of Cocina Nueva by Jane Lawson to see how I can make use of it. And hubby has just got hold of Modern Spanish Cooking by Sam & Eddie Hart for my birthday - so pimenton-dusted dishes will be brewing ...

Once again, I really adore your drawings. And your prose always makes me smile :)

xps dijo...

Que razón tienes con lo del pulpo.

Anónimo dijo...

For me, the "classic" Spanish adobo has never included pimenton; garlic, yes. And I am 110% Spanish.

liuia drusilla dijo...

Well, I always read your blog, but it's the first time I comment on it ^^U, I don't like specially pimentón, but I must admit it's a must in all my adobos -I love it in dogfish.
By the way, I have given you a thinking blogger award :).

Guru dijo...

Pues me quitan mi pimentón de la Vera y me quedo llorando en un rincón. Se lo pongo a (casi) todo.

Jen dijo...

I've always been fascinated by Spanish cuisine's reverence for pimenton, as here in the States most people consider it (our version) "tasteless" and more decoration for things like potato salad than anything else.

Lydia dijo...

I've become hopelessly addicted to pimenton, and I keep both the sweet and the hot in my pantry. I like to use it in dishes where others might use smoky bacon -- as a non-bacon eater, I like the smoky taste, but need to find other ways to get it into my cooking. Pimenton is one of those ways; barbecue sauce is another.

lobstersquad dijo...

Kickpleat: yes, well, I can´t promise more than tthat.
Casey: it´s great with poached eggs, of course! not gauche. I´m just not crazy about it.
San: great, I bet you´ll find lots of dishes where it can go.
xps: eso creo you
Anónimo: well, I´m not saying that because it´s a classic it´s the only adobo, you know. We seem to make the same then, no pimentón, just the garlic. But I´m only 100% Spanish.
Luia Drusilla: thanks for the award! and yes, for dogfish it´s a complete must.
Guru: y seguro que está muy muy rico
Jen: I don´t think you´ve met the proper pimentón, it´s pretty strong.
Lydia: I wouldnt´be without it in the house, of course, it´s just, you know, a bit prevalent here.

Gloria dijo...

Encantada de conocerte, me llamó la atención tu blog porque el mío también está en ingés y soy de Chil. Me encantaron tus recetas y tus dibujos!!!Cuando puedas pasa a verme .Cariños Gloria

ann dijo...

I love pimenton de la vera and probably use it to an embarassing level, especially to a Spaniard, but I really do love it smoky, subtle heat. I recently discovered that it's delicious sprinkled over pepitas. Yum.

amysep dijo...

I just discovered your blog and am especially drawn to it since I just returned from a vacation to Madrid. We really fell in love with the city and bought 3 tins of pimenton back to Brooklyn, NY with us. We'll be using it on our boiled potatoes, topped with lovely olive oil, rock salt and (of course) pimenton. YUUUUM. Amy @ neverfull.wordpress.com

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